10 Reasons to Love Autumn in Your RV

RV dealership Minnesota

The summer of 2013 is behind us and along with it, the warm temperatures. While there are many who bemoan the passing of summer, there are some really great reasons to enjoy RVing in the fall.

At Pleasureland RV, your Minnesota RV dealership, we thought it would be timely to remind you of 10 great reasons to love the autumn in your RV.

  1. The amazing fall colors. Probably at the top of everyone’s list, the changing trees and brilliant colors are truly a wonder to behold. Living where we do, it is easy to forget that some people from the south make trips up north each autumn just to bask in the colors. RV’ing gives us a front row seat.
  2. Campgrounds are less crowded. For those that enjoy a bit of solitude when RV’ing the fall is an amazing time. The whole feel of the season is more laid back, quieter, and at a slower pace. Fall gives us a great time to sit back and relax.
  3. Cooler temperatures. This time of year it is possible to sleep with the windows open and turn off the A/C. The air somehow seems cleaner and fresher.
  4. There is less traffic. The fall means fewer cars on the roadways and less traffic jams. This makes travel more enjoyable and less stressful.
  5. Lower gas prices. Generally the end of summer leads to lower fuel costs. This can help the travel budget and may even lead to longer excursions.
  6. Less chance of thunderstorms. Once the heat of summer dissipates, the chances for severe thunderstorms seem to dissipate as well. This can make for quieter, and safer RV trips.
  7. New RV models are out. Fall is a great time for RV’ers because the new models are out, and even in you are not in the market for a new RV, it is fun to take a walk-through of the new models.
  8. New fall recipes. A change of seasons brings about a change in the foods we eat. Seasonal foods like pumpkin, squash and apples play a bigger part in our diets and we seem to move from barbecues to casseroles.
  9. Football. For those who like college and pro football, “tailgating” in our RV’s while watching the games is hard to beat.
  10. A sense of gratitude. In the hustle and bustle of the summer, we can sometimes forget to be grateful. In the fall, we sense our days in the out of doors are limited for the year and we seem to be thankful.

Enjoy your RV this fall. Pleasureland RV Center invites you to visit us to see the 2014 models and to get your RV ready for the winter.

Make Cleaning Your Minnesota RV Awning a Part of Your Regular RV Maintenance Routine

As members of the RV community, we know that with owning an RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel comes the responsibility of routine maintenance. It’s been my experience that one of the things new Minnesota RV owners forget about is cleaning the RV awning.  Whether you’re putting your RV away for the season or you’ve been traveling through some less than ideal weather, you should add cleaning the awning to your checklist because rain, snow, wind, dust and air pollution are all things that can cause permanent damage and/or stains to the awning.

I’m pretty sure it’s been proven that the life span of an RV awning improves with routine cleaning. If you have a fabric awning, it should be deep cleaned two or three times a year. This can vary depending on your RV travel habits. If you have a vinyl RV awning, then you’ll need to give it a good cleaning three or four times a year. Again, this can vary depending on your RV travels.

When the time comes, you’ll need to select an awning cleaning product. There is a wide array of products especially made for this task. Some products are specially formulated to deal with mildew or mold and others are more generic and can be used on both vinyl and fabric awnings. If you need help finding one or deciding which will work best for you, swing by Pleasureland RV or give us a call. If you can, try to get a cleaner that contains UV inhibitors and blockers.

Now that you’ve selected a product, let’s put this project in motion. You’ll need a ladder for this one. Once you’ve secured yourself (we don’t want any injuries) on the ladder, go ahead and pull out about three feet of your awning. It’s strongly recommend to clean the awning in sections. This way you’ll be sure to get it all and it’ll it make the process much simpler. Once you’ve cleaned the last section, leave the awning out to dry. If you’re really interested in extending the life of your awning, try applying a light coat of repellent to help prevent stains and repel water. The best kinds will contain a UV blocker to help maintain the fabric’s appearance. Again, if you need help finding RV awning cleaning products, swing by one of Pleasureland RV’s four locations, or give us a call. Like I mentioned above, cleaning your awning is something that should become part of your routine RV maintenance. After all, you’ve already invested a lot of time and money in this rolling home on wheels, so why not do everything you can to get the most out of it?

 

Make Your Life Easier and Rid Your Minnesota RV of Hard Water

Hard water can make life on the road in your Minnesota RV much more difficult than it needs to be, and if this is something you are currently experiencing, you’re going to want to fix it soon.

So what exactly is hard water?

Water that contains the hardness minerals – calcium and magnesium.

How does water become hard?

As rain water passes over the through the earth, it absorbs hardness minerals. Eventually this water flows into our lakes, rivers, streams and ground water.

What are the signs of hard water?

The most obvious sign that your water is hard is rust stains or scaling in sink, shower or toilet. Hard water is less effective at washing away dirt, so you may notice that your clothes are not getting as clean as they should be. It’s also hard to work up a good lather of shampoo or soap when you have hard water.

Other signs include a foul odor, difficulty working up a good lather of shampoo or soap, and possibly a reddish tint to you hair (this is caused by all of the iron in the water).

Technically speaking, hard water is not harmful to your health, but it will affect your ability to wash and clean efficiently. There are several remedies to this issue including portable water softeners. In my opinion this is the best option because they’re easy to use and provide soft water for one to two weeks while costing practically nothing.

If you’re experiencing hard water, take it from me… you’ll want to make it soft. Not only will it turn your tough RV cleaning jobs into easy work, you’ll also save time and money. Not to mention, you’ll probably feel much fresher after showers.  If you need any help picking out a portable water softener or would like to look at other options, give Pleasureland RV a call, or pop in one of our four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar or Brainerd.

Properly Store Your Minnesota RV Batteries During the Off Season

rv dealership minnesotaHave you ever stored your RV for the winter months and found that your batteries died or cracked apart while it was stored? Believe it or not, this is a common problem many RVers face when they decide to winterize their motorhomes for the winter. Especially those of us RVers who live in states where winters can be brutal.

I was watching the news last night and when the weather man said we’re were going to be in the single digits this week, I thought it’d be best to make sure all of you Minnesotans properly stored your RV’s batteries.

The majority of our RVs have parasitic drains in their electrical systems that come from various electrical components, like carbon monoxide and propane detectors, car stereos, circuit boards, LED lights, etc. Even if you have an OEM battery switch, some of these drains will remain on slowly draining the life of your battery as your RV is stored away.

This becomes an even bigger issue in freezing temperatures. Why? Because automotive batteries will freeze if they lose their charge, which can result in their splitting apart. And when batteries freeze, they are deader than dead. That’s right, a frozen battery is usually damaged beyond repair.

There are two ways to prevent this from happening when you store your RV. The first, is to make sure your batteries are charging .You can use shore power or a solar charging system. The second method, and much simpler in my opinion, is to remove the batteries all together and store them in a climate-controlled location, like your house.

If you’re not storing your RV in a climate-controlled area, and you haven’t already removed the batteries, you may want to get a move on. Those cold Minnesota temperatures are going to hit quick this week. If your battery has already cracked or drained, give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one our four locations in Ramsey, St.Cloud, Willmar and Brainerd.

Does Your Minnesota RV Need New Windshield Wiper Blades?

Driving in inclement weather is bad enough in an average passenger vehicle, but doing it in an RV? Awful. Especially if you don’t know what you are doing. The most common weather you’ll probably drive through in your RV is rain, and there’s nothing worse than flipping on your windshield wipers and realizing it’s only making it worse. If you’ve been on the road for awhile and haven’t been able to clean the bugs off your windshield, you can bet your visibility will decrease even more.

Many things contribute to the deterioration of your RV‘s wiper blades including the sun, oil from other vehicles and the random dirt and other debris carried by the wind. When blades start to deteriorate, they may start to streak, skip or split.

Skipping: This is caused by a curvature due to lack of use. If your RV has been parked for a long period of time, your wipers may have molded to the curvature of your RV’s windshield. This curvature will mess up the contact the wipers have with the rest of the windshield’s surface as it moves causing the blades to skip.

Streaking: When your wiper blades harden and crack, the result is streaking. Usually this is due to dry rubber, but tree sap, bugs and grime from the road also contribute to this issue.

Splitting: Over time, your blades will naturally wear down and split. Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays will also contribute to split rubber.

Seeing how our RVs spend a lot of time on the road, their wiper blades are prone to wearing out quicker than those on our cars. There are  few simple things you can do to help prevent this, though. First and foremost, you should add checking your blades to your regular maintenance list. Look for broken frames, tears and missing pieces and curvature. It’s also good idea to clean your windshield often and wipe the rubber part of the blades with a damp paper towel. During the winter months, pull the blades away from the windshield and never use them to try to get ice off of your windshield.

As a general rule of thumb, wiper blades should be replaced once a year.  This can very a little bit depending on the amount of usage, and as I mentioned earlier, RV wiper blades will probably wear out quicker. So be sure to always inspect your blades before heading out. If you need any help inspecting your blades or installing new ones, you can always give Pleasureland RV a call or swing by one of our locations in Minnesota.

Garmin Navigation Apps Make the Perfect Gift for the Minnesota RV Owner

Hey Minnesota RVers, we’re only days away from Christmas Eve, and I’m sure some of you out there have not finished all of your Christmas shopping. Or maybe you’re just stuck on gift ideas for your spouse or friend. Well, I have a great idea for you at a great price: The gift of navigation! I know that navigation systems can be a little pricey, but  the good news is you can now buy extremely capable navigation apps for smart phones! Here’s some even better news… Garmin has slashed prices for its apps and traffic services for the year-end holidays!

Last week, Consumer Reports said that Garmin announced price cuts of up to 40 percent for its Navigon navigation software for both iPhones and Google Android-powered smartphones. The holiday promotion will last through January 5 and allows users to download and navigate U.S. maps for $30 instead of $40 (Android) or $50 (iPhone). For both U.S. and Canadian maps, Garmin will charge about $40 for its app on either iOS or Android platforms.

Garmin’s live traffic update service will also be discounted from $20 to $15. This app is great for when Minnesota RVers venture out and have to bravely navigate through large cities.  The StreetPilot app for iPhones also dropped $10 to $50 for U.S. and Canadian maps ($40 for U.S. only) during this promotion. So Minnesota RV owners, if you’re in need of a last minute gift, go check out these different GPS apps. Any owner of a motorhome, travel trailer or fifth wheel will be more than happy to have this service with them while on their RV adventures!

The Minnesota Roads Will Be Extra Crowed During the Holidays

Hey Minnesota RVers, what are your plans for the holiday? AAA is forecasting that more Americans are planning to travel this year for the holidays, and that 91.9 million will travel 50 miles or more from their home during the year-end travel season, up from last year’s figure of 90.7 million. For those of you out there who are full-timers, it looks like the roads are going to get a little crowded this holiday season!

AAA also said that the majority of these holiday travelers will take to the roads. Some 83.6 million people (91 percent of total holiday travelers) plan to travel by car, a 2.1 percent increase compared to last year. The year-end holiday season is defined by AAA as beginning Friday, December 23, 2011 and ending Monday, January 2, 2012. So if you are thinking you’ll be on the road during one of those 11 days, be sure to take extra caution.

It’s been reported by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) that 40 percent of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12 percent increase over the rest of the month of December. So make sure you keep your attention on the other drivers around you. Stay safe out there Minnesota RVers!

Dear Minnesota RV Drivers, Be Sure to Watch For Deer

Deer are generally an elusive animal, and if you’re lucky, you may get to see in their natural habitat. Most often your best chance of getting a glimpse of this animal is early in the quiet, calm morning near a river or lake or even roaming around your Minnesota campsite. One place you do not expect (or in the least bit desire) to have an encounter with a deer is out on the open road in your RV.

The danger of having an accident involving a deer while driving is mostly unavoidable. Coincidentally, the high risk months (October, November and December) for deer collisions are upon us. These months happen to be the mating and migration season for deer, which only increase a motorist’s chance of having a close encounter with one. As it just so happens, we Minnesota folk fall at the eighth spot in the top 10 list of the most high risk states, with the odds of a deer collision in the next 12 months being 1 in 98. Think you can guess which state has the fewest encounters with deer? Would you be surprised to hear that it’s Hawaii; with the odds being 1 in 6,267? Shocking, I know!

So for those of us at risk, there are some things to do and not to do that can help us avoid a deer/RV collision. The following are precautions given by Consumer Report to take into account, in order to lessen your risk of being another statistic.

  • Slow down. Watch for deer especially around dawn and between the hours of 6-9 p.m. (When they are most active.)
  • Be aware. Look out for deer-crossing signs and wooded areas where deer or other animals would likely travel. And if you travel the same route to and from work every day, you might find deer consistently grazing in the same fields. Make a mental note of when and where you regularly see these animals.
  • Be alert. If you see an animal on the side of the road, slow down, and, at night, when traffic permits, put on your high-beams for greater visibility.
  • Brake, don’t swerve. Swerving to avoid an animal can put you at risk for hitting another vehicle or losing control of your own car. It can also confuse the animal as to which way to go. Just slow down as quickly and safely as you can. Your odds of surviving an accident are better hitting an animal than another car.
  • Assume they have friends. The phrase “where there’s one, there’s usually more” often holds true. Deer travel in groups, so if you see one run across the road, expect others to follow.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles. The whims of wild animals are not beholden to this technology.
  • Buckle up. A seat belt is your best defense for minimizing your risk in a crash. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that 60 percent of the people killed in animal-vehicle collisions weren’t wearing seat belts.

The good news, however, is that State Farm Insurance reported that deer collisions have been on the decline for the last three years, with the past year’s decline almost twice than that of the two years prior combined. We all need to be careful out there during this time of year, including my fellow Minnesotan RV enthusiasts.

Bag Up Your Omelets on the Road Minnesota RVers

When you think about making breakfast in your RV that is both simple and quick and doesn’t require a whole lot of cleanup, generally only a few things come to mind. You have things like cereal, toast, maybe a breakfast bar… but having something a little more complicated (like an omelet) usually doesn’t sound too appealing given the space to work with in an RV. Get ready though, because those mornings of omelet free breakfasts on the campgrounds are over! No need to dirty up your skillet or try and master that folding technique for the perfect omelet shape. Now you can have the perfect omelet that comes right out of the bag. Not just any bag of course, but straight from your trusty Ziploc bag. (Yields one omelet.)

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices of ham, chopped (optional)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon green or red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons red tomato, chopped (optional)
  • 2 fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chunky salsa (optional)

Directions

  1. Crack open two eggs and put them into a sandwich size Ziploc baggy. Press most of the air out of the bag before sealing. Shake or squeeze the bag in order to beat the eggs.
  2. Open the bag and add the desired ingredients above.
  3. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and reseal.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place the bag into the water and let boil for 13 minutes.
  5. Open the bag and let the now cooked omelet slide out onto a plate. (Your omelet should slide or roll out of the baggy with ease.)

Know of any other simple breakfast ideas to make in your RV? Share the wealth!

Zap the Sap on Your RV Minnesota

During the summer months, the inside of your RV can get really hot. Even on a mild day of 80 degree weather, the inside of your RV can rise to over 100 degrees in just a half hour! There’s really no way around the heat, and you probably looked for any shaded area including trees to park under and try and combat it. The only problem with parking under those wooded areas (especially on a campground) is that your RV could become covered in sticky and relentless tree sap. Recently I noticed tree sap on the hood of my RV and I decided to give her a good washing to clean it off. Initially I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult and just required a little extra scrubbing. Boy was I mistaken. Normal washing techniques and car wash product just won’t do the trick. After doing some research about tree sap removal while trying to find the best product and method for the job, I found a few different ways that work well in order to zap the sap.

  • Bug and Tar Remover – Follow the directions and this should do the trick for most sticky sap situations, just takes some extra elbow grease.
  • Rain-X – This window cleaner works well by simply using a cloth and wiping it off.
  • Mineral Spirit – Wet a cloth with this product and rub in a circular motion.
  • Ice – Because the sap can be gooey and sticky, using ice to harden it can help you to simply chip it away.

With any method you choose to use to clean the tree sap off your RV, be sure to always read the directions carefully and try a test spot (like on the top of your RV) to make sure the product or method you use doesn’t harm your paint. If you know of any other remedies to rid your RV of tree sap, let us know!